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Your GoPro is about to get a lot more powerful

GoPro launches a developer program to make your camera do new things.


Is your GoPro gathering dust in a drawer somewhere? The action camera maker hopes you'll pull it out again to use new applications and solutions created by third-party developers.


The BMW M-laptimer app will be available this summer.

Lexy Savvides/CNET

Although the program has been underway for a year, GoPro's developers program was officially announced Thursday at an event in San Francisco. BMW and Fisher Price are among some of the larger multinational companies developing new software solutions using the platform.

"Since the launch of the HD Hero back in 2009, we've thought of a GoPro as something more than a camera," said Nick Woodman, CEO of GoPro, at the launch event. "We've thought of it as the world's most versatile capture module.

One of the third-party applications showcased at the event was BMW's M-laptimer app. This overlays telemetry data from the camera such as speed and location information, then provides a live replay of the drive. It will be available as a free download in the summer of 2016.

The program has three main tiers for developers: apps, devices and mounts. While the app and mount tiers are self-explanatory, the device category includes products that sit alongside existing GoPro cameras such as backpacks.

Timecode Systems showed off a device that sits on the back of a Hero4 Silver to help synchronize multiple cameras in post-production.

One of the biggest issues in the GoPro process is editing footage. Xensr is a small sensor that measures metrics like altitude, jump height and speed. The user wears the Xensr on their body, mounts the GoPro and starts recording through a dedicated app. After the action has concluded, the app puts together a 15 or 30 second highlight reel using measured data to work out when the best moments occur.


The Xensr 3D sports visualizer will build you a highlight reel.

Lexy Savvides/CNET

The launch of the developer program comes just a day after the company announced Apple industrial designer Danny Coster was moving to GoPro as vice president of design. GoPro's stock price rose following the hire.

GoPro had a shaky start to 2016. The action camera maker laid off 7 percent of its workforce in January after weaker than expected sales in the fourth quarter of 2015.

On top of the developer program, GoPro has other products on the horizon that branch out beyond the traditional action camera market. The oft-teased Karma drone is on the way, and the company recently announced the Omni virtual reality camera rig.